With the hockey season less than a couple of months away, Salmon Arm Minor Hockey has all the head coaches for the rep teams appointed.

Salmon Arm resident Mickey Sims will be heading to Kansas City to defend his title in the world masters boxing championships on Aug. 2.

Mickey Sims hopes to return to Salmon Arm with this championship belt.

Mickey Sims hopes to return to Salmon Arm with this championship belt.

He is fighting his way to the top, literally.

Salmon Arm resident Mickey Sims will be heading to Kansas City to defend his title in the world masters boxing championships  on Aug. 2.

This will be the second time he has fought in the competition, having taken home first place in last year’s event.

Sims anticipates to be competing in events from Aug. 2 straight through until Aug. 4, when the finals will be held, provided he continues to advance.

Sims has been competing since he was about five years old. He got into the sport when his father, who was also a boxer, was beginning to train his older brother. Sims became his brother’s sparring partner and they would often train together.

“There is nothing like fighting your brother,” jokes Sims, who spent a large part of his boxing career coaching others, before beginning to compete on his own in major events.

He describes taking his team to the Canada Games in Prince Edward Island in 1991 as one of his fondest memories, including the pride he felt for his players.

Sims spent most of his life in Salmon Arm and was a sheriff for years before he retired.

It was after he retired that he began competing himself. While he now attends many events as a fighter, he is still an active coach.

Sims says that his love for the sport is derived from the discipline and training required in order to do well, and the camaraderie among friends.

“You get in the ring and try to knock each other out, but you are friends before the fight and will still be after,” he says.

He is nervous about competing in the world championships and a little apprehensive.

“Last year I went in knowing it was going to be really tough, but I never thought I would get far. When they raised my hand in the final fight I was in shock, and that last fight was easy.”

Sims says he spent pretty much a whole year training for the boxing championship last year. Now, after having one year of the world championships under his belt, he has learned from his experience and has altered his practice routing to best suit what he felt he was lacking last year.

“I feel stronger this year than I did last year,” he says. “I hope that’s a sign.”

Sims practises for hours each day, varying between weight loss, cardio, and competitive training among other styles. He practises hard, but keeps his weekends as a time to relax.

When he returns, whether he wins or loses, Sims says he will ease up on his tight training regimen for a bit. He will continue to keep in shape, but would like to relax for a little while, do some boating and waterskiing, eat a steak and maybe even a piece of cheesecake.